U.S. Department of Energy - Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy
Mission, Vision, and Goals
Researcher Josh Stein of Sandia National Laboratories studies how clouds impact large-scale solar photovoltaic (PV) power plants. Photo from Randy Montoya, Sandia National Laboratories
SunShot Vision Study
The SunShot Vision Study provides an in-depth assessment of the potential for solar technologies to meet a significant share of electricity demand in the United States during the next several decades. The DOE study explores a future in which the cost of solar technologies decreases by about 75% between 2010 and 2020 in line with the SunShot Initiative's cost targets.
The SunShot Initiative's mission is to make solar energy fully cost-competitive with traditional energy sources before the end of this decade, making this clean renewable energy resource more affordable and accessible to Americans.
The SunShot Initiative vision is to make the total cost of solar energy fully economically-viable for everyday use, so that all Americans will benefit from this clean renewable energy resource.
The SunShot Initiative aims to reduce the total installed cost of solar energy systems to $.06 per kilowatt-hour (kWh) by 2020. Today, SunShot is 60% of its way toward achieving the program's goal, only three years into the program's ten year timeline. Since SunShot's launch in 2011, the average price per kWh of a utility-scale photovoltaic (PV) project has dropped from about $0.21 to $0.11.
Achieving the SunShot Initiative's $.06 per kWh goal would lead to the creation of 390,000 new solar jobs by 2050. Solar energy could meet 14% of U.S. electricity needs by 2030 and 27% by 2050. Meeting the SunShot goal could also substantially mitigate the increased costs of electric power. In the scenarios envisioned by the SunShot Initiative, solar power could decrease costs by up to 14% and save up to $20 billion annually by 2050 while still meeting the nation's carbon-cutting goals.
SunShot supports innovative efforts by private companies, universities, and national laboratories to drive down the cost of solar electricity to the SunShot target by reducing solar technology costs, reducing grid integration costs, and accelerating solar deployment nationwide.